What is one room that’s majorly important but also majorly overlooked? Hint: It’s a place where you spend more time than you think. And no, it’s not the kitchen.
We’re talking about your home office. This space thrives on a mood-boosting environment, free-flowing layouts, top-notch organization and clever and classic design elements. If you work from home, particularly full-time, consider customizing your home office — it’s sure to help make you even more productive. In fact, you can ask your contractor to customize your home office with one key item — a built-in desk. A desk is a staple in any home office or study zone, so why not make it a functional and stylish focal point?
Aside from working from home, most any homeowner should have a dedicated, thoughtful and organized space to manage daily life tasks. Here are a few other reasons you might want to add a built-in desk:
- You need a dedicated hobby area.
- You homeschool your children or they need a remote learning space.
- You run a business out of the home.
- You want to conserve square footage.
- You need a flexible space with storage.
So what things do you need to consider to add a built-in desk to your new home? Read on for our guidelines for choosing the perfect built-in desk style.
How to Choose a Built-In Desk
Before nailing down a style you like, you should consider the size and space of your home and potential locations for the desk. If you don’t have a dedicated room that serves as a home office, consider your room layouts and how those spaces flow from one to the next. Which areas are unused or underserved that might make a good office space? How does lighting, including natural light and your light fixtures, factor into each space’s atmosphere and function? Take these considerations into account alongside a budget and move on from there.
Once you determine the location and budget for your built-in desk, next consider which materials you’d like to use. Materials like oak, quartz, granite, terrazzo tiles and even brass and steel can be used for the desk surface, hardware and trim. You might consider mixing and matching materials depending on your personal style.
Built-In Desk Features
What makes a built-in desk built in? The desk area is constructed as part of the home’s structure, and depending on your style and requirements, it can include many features. From drawers and shelving to bins and cubbyholes, this desk can be absolutely unique to you.
You can customize lighting, including recessed, track and under-cabinet options. Built-in desks can even mix in smart home capabilities with LED bulbs, AI assistants, speakers and more.
Before you get overwhelmed with an array of options, make a short list of must-have features and discuss your list with your builder or contractor to finalize how to weave everything into the structure.
Built-In Desk Options
Is there a cozy but open space that’s underutilized in your home? A small nook is the perfect area to design a built-in desk complete with drawers and cabinets. An alcove may seem short on square footage, but a clever contractor can help you transform it into a well-lit desk with trays, shelves, drawers and cubbyholes.
When the word study comes to mind, many of us envision shelves and shelves of vintage books. If your dedicated desk is yielding to all things literary and library, consider asking your builder to add customized shelving and lighting options for books, plants and storage.
Are you planning on erecting a wall of made-to-order cabinets in a study or office? If so, build a desk into the area to make the space even more functional. A built-in desk can seamlessly fade into the cabinetry, keeping sight lines fresh and clean.
The classic yet modern L-shape desk looks professional and serious. It resembles typical workspaces found in many commercial offices and studios. The L-shape counter is often designed with drawers and under-desk cabinets. You can also add shelves above the L-shape for extra organization.
If you’re really low on available space, consider a corner or unused wall for a built-in microdesk. This option might be smaller than a nook, but you can still have cabinets, shelves and drawers for optimal storage. However, most contractors will recommend designing shelves and cabinets to match the existing room so the desk will blend in.
A built-in desk can be minimalist, too. A sleek desk shelf or two can be cut and customized to the exact space and dimensions. You can add personality to the design by using materials like granite, quartz, wood or even metal for the shelves.
Built-in desks are not just for adults. You can design a built-in desk in a bedroom, den or playroom that school-age children can easily use too. Kids need a place where they can explore their education in an organized space. But it can also be a cheeky, playful and colorful zone for learners of all ages.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.